A great way to get to know Kamakura is to undertake the Kamakura 33 Kannon pilgrimage.
Dating to 734 CE, Sugimoto Dera is considered Kamakura's oldest temple — and it looks the part. The stairway going from the niomon to the hondo is uneven and moss-covered, and the grounds have an earthy, ancient feel to them. The primary object of worship at Sugimoto Dera is Kannon-sama. The temple is home to … Continue reading す is for Sugimoto Dera
There's nothing like a big, red, scary-looking demon to keep out the riffraff. This Nio at Sugimoto Dera, along with his partner on the opposite side of the entrance gate, does a solid job.
Dozens and dozens of very weather-worn stone stupas sit in the clearing at the top of the stairs at Sugimoto Dera. They represent the 300 samurai who died during a battle by the temple between Hojo forces and Ashikaga forces in 1337. I didn't count, but perhaps there are 300 in all.
Sugimoto Dera again, but looking through the incense burner in the other direction.
I can't help but wonder if the stairs leading up to the hon-do at Sugimoto Dera are the original stairs. If they are, it would make them 1282 years old, as Sugimoto Dera was built in 734 AD (though fires have meant it's seen some rebuilding). Maybe a bit of a stretch, but they do … Continue reading Moss-Covered Stairs
Sugimoto Dera doesn't have building after building after building like a lot of the other temples in Kamakura. It's pretty simple. The building that it does have at the top of the moss-covered stone stairs, though, is pretty nice. Too bad you can't take pictures inside! This was the best I could do without risking … Continue reading Through the Incense Burner
Kamakura has an awful lot of Roku Jizo (six Jizo statues standing together). The best-known is likely the Yuigahama Dori Roku Jizo, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you'll find others sprinkled around town. The ones pictured stand on the grounds of Sugimoto Dera, the oldest temple in Kamakura.